Deep cleaning of teeth side effects, and how to deal with them

Table of Contents

This is the third step of your 4 parts journey into the complete guide on deep cleaning.

Wow, we have come a long way! We have talked about the deep cleaning procedure and its aftercare so far. Now you might be wondering if there are any side effects to this procedure. As with any other medical procedure yes, there are a few side effects to the deep cleaning process, such as sensitivity, pain, risk of infection, etc. But nothing to worry about! The majority of these side effects are short-term and usually resolve within a week.

Are there any side effects of deep teeth cleaning?

To put it in a nutshell, yes, there are side effects. Most of them are temporary and usually go away after a week or so. During that time you should keep up with your oral hygiene routine to make sure none of the side effects cause any long-term problems for you. Maintaining good dental hygiene after your deep cleaning dentist visit will ensure great results and fewer complications afterward.

So what are the side effects of deep teeth cleaning? Let’s talk about a deep cleaning of teeth’ side effects!

Side effects Solutions Temporary Permanent
Sensitivity -avoid hard foods
-do not consume too hot or cold foods
Pain -take over-the-counter painkillers

-use a cold compress

Infection -use an antimicrobial mouthwash
and warm salt water rinse
Gum recession -resolves by itself, rarely becomes permanent
Teeth gaps -resolves by itself

You may have sensitivity

Teeth sensitivity is one of the main and most common side effects of deep teeth cleaning. But why does it happen? The plaque buildup and tartar buildup on the surface of your teeth act like a barrier. So removing that bacterial buildup can lead to more sensitive teeth. This is one of the temporary and most common side effects of deep teeth cleaning that usually resolves by itself in a few days.

You may have pain during the procedure but not after

Sorry to say this but deep cleaning teeth can cause pain, but the whole procedure is not a painful one. For the procedure itself, either your dental hygienist or your dentist will numb you up. They usually use a local anesthetic or a numbing gel to help ease the pain during the procedure and make you more comfortable. If you feel any pain during your deep teeth cleaning process tell your dentist so they can take care of it.

After deep cleaning teeth and gums, you might feel pain and be uncomfortable. In most cases, people experience normal amounts of pain after deep cleaning therapy, but to ease that pain you can take over-the-counter painkillers.

If you are one of the lucky few who experiences slight pain, or no pain at all you won’t need over-the-counter pain medications.

You may have a headache after deep cleaning

This is one of the rare deep cleaning of teeth side effects, nevertheless, it might happen. Due to the close proximity of our teeth and head, you might feel some sort of discomfort or slight pain. For this, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers as well. You can also use a cold compress or an ice pack and place it on your jaw for comfort. The headache will resolve in a few hours. If your headache persists you should go to the emergency room immediately.

It may give you an infection

How is that possible? Let us explain. During the deep teeth cleaning process your gums get tender, and there might be minor nicks and cuts happening which is totally normal. This could lead to a higher risk of infection after your procedure. When your dentist is done with the deep cleaning treatment, sometimes they might put some antibiotics in your periodontal pockets. Other than that, they would recommend using antimicrobial mouthwash or warm salt water rinse to reduce the chances of infection following the deep cleaning teeth procedure.

It may cause teeth gaps

Naturally, our teeth have a bit of space between them. That is where usually the food deposits are formed and therefore cause bacteria build-up. Over time this leads to the accumulation of plaque and gum recession in those spaces. So after your deep cleaning appointments, those spaces will look more pronounced. After a while, your gums will grow into these spaces. So this is more of a temporary deep cleaning of teeth side effect.

It may cause sore and bleeding gums

After gum scaling and root planing, your gums will be more sensitive since they have been probed. The scaler that the dentist uses has a sharp tip and that can cause small cuts as well. All of this makes your gums swollen and more prone to bleeding. Remember minor bleeding is not a problem and it will go away in two days, but if there is any excessive bleeding, you should go to your dentist immediately.

It may cause gum recession

During your dental cleaning procedure, your dentist or dental hygienists will push your gums a bit back and away from your teeth to clean out the deep gum pockets. It also provides better access to the root surfaces. This is part of the process and it will not cause long-term gum recession. In most people, the gum tissue will grow back and reattach itself to the roots of teeth. But in some people, this might not happen after root planing, and they might end up with even more gum recession.

Risk of nerve damage

Sounds scary but don’t be alarmed. This is one of the rare side effects of deep cleaning teeth treatment. Nerve damage is mostly very unlikely, but in people with underlying diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, vasculitis, or lupus which are all autoimmune diseases. If you do not have any of these diseases, it is highly unlikely for this to happen. In any case, talk with your dentist and voice your concern.

Are deep cleaning procedures safe?

After reading about all these common deep cleaning of teeth side effects, you might be second guessing whether to go through it or not. Is deep cleaning procedure even safe? We are here to say yes it is safe. The deep teeth cleaning process like any other dental procedure carries some side effects and potential risks but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It only means you should be cautious and open with your dentist. If you have a licensed dentist who has good experience and you have seen their work then you have nothing to worry about.

Another thing that makes it safe is deep cleaning teeth aftercare. Yes, the aftercare is part of the procedure as well. The work is not finished at the dentist’s office. The more you care about your oral health the fewer complications you will have and all in all, you will be safer.

At Dentfix we have made it our moral obligation and it is our pleasure to provide you with all the information necessary so you can make an informed decision.

So if you have any questions or concerns you can easily contact us! Our medical assistants are more than happy to help you and they will get back to you as soon as possible!


-Szymaitis D., et al. “A retrospective analysis of a large case series investigating a novel non-incisional periodontal therapy.” Journal of Dentistry and Oral Hygiene 12.1 (2020): 1-10. Link

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